Aleksandra E. (Alpharetta, GA)
Good but never reached full potential
While I found the historical aspects to this novel extremely fascinating, I could not relate to the modern day story tie-in. The events and subsequent dialog were often juvenile or seemed contrived. Eastern Europe in the 1500s would, in and of itself, make for a rich and mesmerizing tale. The modern twist was just not as riveting and sometimes bordered on the silly. The intrigue within this story rested solely on the historical Bathory legend and I must admit if the book had focused exclusively on building and exploring this period alone, it may have been wonderful.
Mary S. (Bow, NH)
House of Bathory - a great movie
I was totally engrossed in this book. The author's construct of moving the story line back and forth from the past to the present was well done and only built up this reader's interest in what was going to happen next. The plot was well thought out and the characters were fascinating - everything from a Goth to a historian to an evil countess - and it worked! Learning about Jungian psychology was an added plus. If you need a page-turner to take you away, this is the book for you.
Mary Jane D. (Arlington Heights, IL)
House of Bathory
This is an excellent book for those interested in the legend of Dracula. The story is based on the historical record of the Bathory family from the 1600's in Slovakia and brought cleverly to present times. The characters are well developed and memorable. The castle setting is very descriptive and easy to imagine. It is not for the squeamish as descriptions of brutality are rather graphic. The interweaving of the past and present plots is expertly done and keeps you engrossed right to the very end of the book.
Elise B. (Macedonia, OH)
House of Bathory
The House of Bathory story line revolves around the historical figure, Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who lived and brutally murdered over 600 women in the early 1600s in Slovakia. Ms Lafferty tells the horrifying and fascinating story of Countess Bathory as well as giving a very interesting history of the lives of royalty and peasantry during this era. Woven into the historical tale is a modern day version of the story that uses Jung's theory of "synchronicity" to make it plausible. The modern portion of the story was very forced and unrealistic. I found myself skimming through the modern day story to return to the historical sections.
Loretta F. (Fountain Inn, SC)
Ancient Evil Begets Modern Evil
I chose to read House of Bathory because I am of Hungarian descent, and wanted to learn more about Countess Erzsebet Bathory. What I learned was appalling: she tortured and killed over 600 females in an effort to preserve her youth. How can such horrific crimes go unpunished for so long? The author's historical research describes the culture of Europe in 1610, when the all-powerful royals had exclusive rights to their servants, and the common folk, the peasants had no rights at all.
The book toggles back and forth between 1610 and 2010, depicting the evil that has returned to the House of Bathory. I found the events in 1610 much more interesting, because I like historical fiction. Although the author's use of vampirism in her 2010 chapters may appeal more to other readers, I found some of the characters and situations a bit unbelievable.
I thought the book was well-written, and I liked the short chapters that Lafferty used to keep the reader hooked on her dual plots. However, I was disappointed in the abrupt way the book ended. After the horrific experiences the characters had gone through, I expected more explanation and more closure from the author.
Doris K. (Angora, MN)
House of Bathory
This was a fascinating book. I was hesitant to read it when I realized the background of the Countess Bathory. However There were many other interesting persons brought into the book.it turned out to be suspenseful and hard to put down. I found myself reading late into the night to find out what would happen next,even though I had looked ahead and knew what happened to the countess.
It would make a wonderful discussion in a book club.
The author did a good job of tying in the 21st and the 17th centuries. Sometimes this can be confusing, but not in this case.
According to the author's bibliography she did research Countess Bathory so she was a real person. Some of the descriptions of her activities made you wonder.
Overall a good read.
Renee P. (Sanford, FL)
Connect the blood drops
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The pacing of it, the slow, yet steady, buildup to the final scene was beautifully done. While I have read quite a few vampire stories, the amounts of information this book brought out about Elizabeth Bathory was absolutely intriguing, and, mind boggling to contemplate. How anyone, in any age, could have so consistently murdered and tortured over 600 women is something that is really, really hard for me to wrap my mind around. About the only criticism I could have for this book is that, for me, the final chapter was a bit weak., I think, given the amounts of detail in the rest of the book, it might have been nice to provide a bit more in the way of sharing how the two sisters and the psychologist involved managed to overcome the things that happened to them instead of just plopping down the happy ever after scenario.